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[English Manuscript 81 Gospel of Matthew]

English MS 81

Earlier Version Wycliffe New Testament, end of 14th/beginning of 15th century

Size: 270 x 192 mm. vii + 153 + xi folios.

Earlier version of John Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, without prologues. The order is the four Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse. This manuscript was used by Lea Wilson as the basis for his 1848 edition of the Wycliffite New Testament.

There is an 8-line initial in burnished gold on a red and blue ground on f. 1r; 7-line initials in the same style at the beginning of all other books; numerous 4-line initials in blue ink with red penwork flourishes.

The manuscript was presented by Dame Anne Danvers to Syon Monastery, Isleworth, in 1517. Other former owners include Edward Reynolds (1599-1676), bishop of Norwich; Lea Wilson, F.S.A., Wycliffe scholar; Bertram, 4th Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878) (Appendix no. 22); and Henry Yates Thompson (1838-1928).

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